Miriam's Story

BANGOR AND KENNEBUNKPORT - Miriam Ingalls Hastings, 97, an artist and antiques enthusiast, died in Orono on May 24.

A direct descendent of the two Ingalls brothers who founded Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630, Mrs. Hastings was born in that city on March 11, 1918. She was the daughter of Arthur Warren Ingalls of Lynn and his wife, Miriam James Ingalls of neighboring Chelsea. From early childhood, she was known by the Scots nickname "Bunty" to family and friends.

Mrs. Hastings spent her youth shuttling between her Father's and Mother's homes after they divorced in 1924. She attended many schools, including Lynn English High School, and Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. In 1935, she graduated from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, outside of Boston.

One of the delights of her life was a three-month trip to France, England, and Italy during the summer of 1935. She travelled to Europe on the maiden voyage of what was then the World's largest passenger vessel, the French Line's S/S Normandie.

The trip heightened Mrs. Hastings interest in art and antiques, two subjects which she enjoyed throughout her life. In 1936, she entered a certificate program in commercial design at the New England School of Art, which she completed in 1938.

Following her graduation, she married Morgan Wilcox Hastings of Brockton, Massachusetts. Their first child, Hugh, was born the following year, while Mr. Hastings was managing the Wonder Bread Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Three other children followed: Jaclyn in 1942, Deborah in 1947, and Michael in 1950.

In 1940, Mrs. Hastings participated in the "Bundles for Britain" campaign. While her husband was serving in the Second World War, she worked in a Western Union office on Manhattan. In 1946, anxious to put the war and city life behind, the family moved to a farm in Morrill, Maine that was owned by Mr. Hastings' grandparents. It had neither plumbing nor central heating when they arrived.

Mrs. Hastings lived in Waldo County -Morrill and Belfast- until her husband's death to cancer in 1961. In her new role as a single mother, she utilized her commercial art background by working as a draftsperson for the State Highway Commission in Maine and, later, Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Massachusetts.

In 1974, Mrs. Hastings retired and moved from Massachusetts to Kennebunkport where she redecorated an 18th century home, tended its garden, and entertained friends and family. Art continued to be an interest. Although she had excelled in charcoal and pencil drawing as a young art student, she sought to improve her skills in oils and acrylics as a retiree. She enjoyed organizing art courses in Kennebunkport for herself and friends.

In 2003, at the age of 85, she moved to Bangor to be closer to members of her family. She developed many strong friendships at Boyd Place/Phillips Strickland, where she lived for eleven years. Last year, she moved to Orono Commons.

Mrs. Hastings' two daughters died before reaching adulthood. Son Hugh Hastings died in 2012. Son Michael Hastings and his wife Sharyn, of Hampden, survive her, as does her younger sister, Meredith Geary of Bangor, five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two great, great grandchildren.

Also surviving Mrs. Hastings are three longtime, cherished, friends: Bobbie Williams of Mansfield TX, Judy Callahan of Bellingham, MA, and Tom Coughlin of Walpole, MA.

The immediate family plans to gather later this year for a service at Morrill Cemetery, where Mrs. Hastings will be buried beside her husband in a family plot. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial donations to the endowment of Phillips-Strickland House, 21 Boyd Street, Bangor, ME 04401. Those wishing to send condolences may do so through Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor ME 04401.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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Brookings-Smith Funeral Home

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